Friday, 9 February 2018

Epic reveals latest roadmap and feature goals for next few months of Fortnite development

Epic has posted a huge update on the state of development for Fortnite, highlighting some of the major improvements and new features planned for the coming months.

Starting with a statement of intent for future development, Epic readdressed Fortnite's recent server woes and the significant bugs shipped in the 2.3.0 patch.

We don't consider either acceptable," it reiterated, "We have changed our release plans and processes to help improve quality of client builds, and scrambled people to make traction on backend scalability by any means possible." As such, it'll hopefully be smoother sailing for Fortnite in the months ahead.

Read more…



from Eurogamer.net http://ift.tt/2EW2pWI

Live From the Carter Crater - The TouchArcade Show #341

Eli's on the road this week, so we got Carter Dotson to make his return to the show, guest-hosting along with Jared. They discuss several of the news stories that hit this week, including the news about Rules of Survival [Free]'s download success, the new PUBG mobile games in China, the Sid Meier's Civilization VI [Free (HD)] sale, and the news that Mario Kart Tour will be free-to-start on mobile. Along with that, the gang discusses three of the most notable releases of the week: Dandara [$14.99] and its ambitious multi-platform release strategy, Dig Dog - Treasure Hunter [$2.99] and its unique hands-free development, and of course, the shrunken-down Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition [Free].

Don't forget to shoot us emails with any questions, feedback, or anything else relevant or irrelevant to podcast@toucharcade.com. We read 'em all, and love decoding messages written entirely in emoji. As always, you can listen to us with the links below... And if you like what you hear, please subscribe and/or drop us a review in iTunes. Much appreciated!

As a companion to this audio podcast, we also do a video version of the same show that is exclusive to Patreon which allows you to see us playing the games we're talking about. Backers can view the most recent video episodes of the TouchArcade show by clicking here. Be sure you're logged in to see the latest content. For everyone else who is curious, you can check out our public patreon posts to see older episodes of the video podcast. If you like what you see, consider becoming a TouchArcade Patreon backer.

iTunes Link: The TouchArcade Show
Stitcher: The TouchArcade Show via Stitcher Radio for Podcasts [Free]
RSS Feed: The TouchArcade Show
Direct Link: TouchArcadeShow-341.mp3, 44MB



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TouchArcade Game of the Week: 'Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition'

The idea behind the TouchArcade Game of the Week is that every Friday afternoon we post the one game that came out this week that we think is worth giving a special nod to. Now, before anyone goes over-thinking this, it doesn't necessarily mean our Game of the Week pick is the highest scoring game in a review, the game with the best graphics, or really any other quantifiable "best" thing. Instead, it's more just us picking out the single game out of the week's releases that we think is the most noteworthy, surprising, interesting, or really any other hard to describe quality that makes it worth having if you were just going to pick up one.

These picks might be controversial, and that's OK. If you disagree with what we've chosen, let's try to use the comments of these articles to have conversations about what game is your game of the week and why.

Without further ado…

 

Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition

The release of Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition [Free] is fascinating to me, and not just because Final Fantasy is a massively popular series and this is the latest entry. Rather, the way it has made its way to mobile is what I can't wrap my head around. Final Fantasy XV on consoles launched in late 2016 and is a huge, open-world style Final Fantasy game. While mobile devices are quite powerful, and we've seen some pretty impressive ports over the years, there's no way I ever imagined Final Fantasy XV could make its way to mobile, at least not anytime soon. Square Enix decided to prove me wrong, and they did so in a very interesting way.

Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition is more or less the full story of the console version, complete with the same voice dialogue and all the same cutscenes. To get the game on mobile without massive performance issues Square Enix redid ALL of the visuals for the game, and rather than the very realistic high-end visuals of the console game Pocket Edition sports toned down, chibi-style versions of all the game's characters. Many of the environments are pretty much the same too, but also toned down graphically. The result is a game that feels a lot like the 3D remakes of Final Fantasy III and IV but using everything in Final Fantasy XV proper. The trailer below does an excellent job of comparing the two games side by side.

The scaled back visuals aren't the only concession in Pocket Edition, as it also doesn't feature many of the additional side quests of the console game nor is it very open-world. It's a much more guided experience, and while there are some fairly large areas you can run around in and explore, it's certainly not on par with the console game's massive world. However, in many ways this is to the game's benefit depending on your gaming preferences. If you're the type that likes getting distracted and goofing around completing minor quests, then Pocket Edition may not be satisfying for you. If you'd prefer to have a more linear journey through the game's story, then Pocket Edition excels at this.

As our own Final Fantasy fanatic Shaun Musgrave pointed out in his review of Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition, this streamlined approach to the full Final Fantasy XV actually improves the flow of the game and makes for a tighter, more focused experience. Hey, maybe that's not appealing to you, and that's OK! Please enjoy the console version or the forthcoming PC version. If you liked the console version and are intrigued by Pocket Edition, then give it a try. It's actually a different enough experience that I've heard from fans of the console version who still enjoyed another romp through the game via this new Pocket Edition. If you've never played the console game (raises hand) then this streamlined, made-for-touchscreen version is an excellent way to experience Final Fantasy XV, especially if you have no intention of playing it on console.

Whatever the case, Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition is free to download and try the entire first chapter, with the rest of the game available as IAP per chapter or as an entire bundle at a slight discount. All told it'll set you back about 20 bucks for the whole game. Give it a shot. What will be really interesting to see is if other companies take a similar approach in bringing some of their big-budget AAA games from console and PC to mobile in the future, and based on how Pocket Edition turned out, I'd be all for it.

Link to Forum Discussion: Final Fantasy XV Pocket Edition (by SQUARE ENIX)



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Developer Rusty Moyher Made 'Dig Dog - Treasure Hunter' Without Using His Hands

It turns out that Rusty Moyher's new game Dig Dog -Treasure Hunter [$2.99] has an interesting story behind its creation. Namely, Moyher managed to create the entire game purely by voice and eye-tracking. He spoke with Ars Technica about the unique method of the game's development. He was diagnosed with a Repetitive Stress Injury (similar, but separate from Carpal Tunnel syndrome) a few years ago, where it wound up negatively affecting his work, particularly with Retro Game Crunch, delaying the game's development.

However, Moyher found a video by developer Travis Rudd in 2013 that discussed how he used Dragon NaturallySpeaking to code in Python. After getting the info from Rudd, and applying some custom commands to work with his software, Moyher managed to get a setup where he could code with just his voice in Visual Studio and Xcode.

But that's not all. Moyher managed to implement a head tracker, the SmartNav 4 AT, which uses head motion to let people use their computers. It's technology that people with ALS like Steve Gleason use to help interact with the world. In fact, Congress recently approved the Steve Gleason Act to help secure funding for these kinds of speech-generating devices for ALS patients.

Moyher was able to use this device and a foot pedal in order to use his head as a mouse in the tools he needed. Which included the game's artwork. While the game uses a simple, low-resolution, primarily monochromatic pixel art scheme, he still was able to create every line of code, design the game, and create the artwork in an entirely hands-free manner, allowing him to not suffer any of the pain that he would normally suffer from his RSI. The only work his hands had to do was to physically play and test the game.

Dig Dog was already a fun platformer before this news came out, but this serves as an important milestone for accessibility in game development. This is a sign that users with disabilities that would prevent them from traditional coding methods can still be game developers, and make fun titles regardless of whatever limitations they might have. While there's difficulties like learning the 'language' of speaking code, Moyher says that he can now talk his code out at a one-to-one rate comparable with typing code out.

For those looking to get into hands-free coding themselves, handsfreecoding.org serves as a great starting point, as does this guide to voice programming. With the technology that exists nowadays with voice recognition, and tools for users to interface with computers without using their hands, Dig Dog - Treasure Hunter's development should show that literally anybody can make games regardless of physical ability.



from TouchArcade http://ift.tt/2EggxJh

Video: The ten design principles for better level design

In this 2013 GDC session, Square Enix Montreal's Dan Taylor provides a Ramsian-style breakdown of how to create world-class levels. ...



from Gamasutra News http://ift.tt/2EtEMa2

SMG's Blocky Puzzler 'Death Squared' Making its Way to iOS on February 14th

After bringing out tons of mobile hits like Thumb Drift, Over The Top Tower Defense, and the One More Line/Jump/Bounce series, Australian developer SMG Studio entered the console realm last year with the release of Death Squared on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch. Death Squared is a block-moving puzzler not unlike many we've seen before, except here you're moving multiple boxes simultaneously and you'll need to do so in a way that doesn't trigger a sudden death trap that will destroy one of the blocks, rendering a level failed. On its own Death Squared is a clever and challenging puzzler, but where it really shines is in its cooperative multiplayer for up to 4 players. This was especially true of the Nintendo Switch version with its detachable controllers and tabletop mode. Well, it's been close to a year since Death Squared first launched and SMG is bringing things full circle with a release for iOS. Check out this extremely high-budget trailer touting the virtues of Death Squared on iOS. These guys spared no expense!

Content-wise everything from the console version of Death Squared is making its way to the iOS version, including more than 80 levels of story-driven (and fully voiced!) campaign mode as well as 10 additional levels in the Vault Mode which "are almost too hard for human consumption." One thing that isn't making its way over, which isn't that surprising, is the 4-player mode. However, Death Squared on iOS will still retain an element of multiplayer as you can easily play with two players on the same device, since on each side of the screen is a virtual stick that will control one of the blocks. SMG even recommends "snuggling up close to your +1 and playing together" and with the iOS version set to launch on February 14th, aka Valentine's Day, that sounds like quite the romantic idea. Android folks don't have to feel left out as a version is planned for that platform too, but it's currently still in the works. iOS folks, though, find yourself someone you can get intimately close to and try not to destroy each other when Death Squared hits the App Store February 14th.



from TouchArcade http://ift.tt/2snZuDz

Nintendo uncertain about future of the 3DS after Switch's success

During an analyst Q& A with Nintendo earlier this week, the company expressed being unsure about the future of the Nintendo 3DS after a successful launch of the Switch. ...



from Gamasutra News http://ift.tt/2BQsAiU

Get a "Cheap" Nintendo Switch Dock Today to Play on Multiple TVs

One of my favorite things about the Nintendo Switch is its inherent portability for gaming on the go. Of course, it’s always a nice option to be able to drag and drop it into the dock for instant access to an HDMI display coupled with the ability to charge. With that amount of flexibility it makes perfect sense that you’d want to have a couple of docks hooked up to whatever displays you want at all times. Unfortunately, at $90 bucks a pop that that flexibility doesn’t come without a price.

For those looking to pick up an extra Switch dock or two Amazon is currently having a deal on the official Nintendo. Right now, you can pick up a dock for $72.99 instead of the normal $90. This comes with the dock itself, an HDMI cable, and an AC adapter (so everything you need to have a completely separate area for you to dock your switch). Sure, $72.99 is still fairly pricey for a Switch dock, but considering this is the official Nintendo dock you’re paying for ease of mind as the this dock is guaranteed to work.

If you’re looking for something a little less official, Amazon also an unofficial Switch HDMI hub that should provide the same functionality as the Switch dock. Today, you can get it for $34.99 instead of the usual price of $40. I’ve never used this one personally, but with hundreds of reviews and a four star rating it should work.

Regardless of which you choose, if you've been looking for way to easily connect your Switch to another TV, now's the time to pick up one of these two solutions.



from TouchArcade http://ift.tt/2ESAlmZ

There's a Dishonored 2 graphic novel out this month

Titan Comics has announced the imminent release of a new Dishonored 2 graphic novel, and it's due to arrive on February 20th.

Dishonored: The Peeress and the Price, to give it its full title, takes place after the events of the second Dishonored game. It sees Emily and Corvo make their return to Dunwall, where a deadly new enemy awaits. An enemy that could, says Titan, "spell doom for them both...".

You can admire a reproduction of the The Peeress and the Price's front cover immediately below. For the first time, I find myself wondering how Corvo blows his nose.

Read more…



from Eurogamer.net http://ift.tt/2si8PN7

The hands-free development of Dig Dog

In an interview with Ars Technica, game developer Rusty Moyher shared how he programmed and created art assets for Dig Dog using his voice and an interesting alternative to a hands-on mouse.  ...



from Gamasutra News http://ift.tt/2ExYku0

Apple is Rejecting Apps for Using Emoji in Screenshots and Text

Some interesting new regulations are starting to appear surrounding emojis on iOS. Apple is starting to reject apps that use emojis in ways they deem against their rules. Emojipedia, a lifeline for anyone who works in social media from their computer and needs to use emojis for dank memes on their corporate channels, reports that app developers are seeing rejections from Apple for using emoji in their app screenshots, or in their apps themselves that Apple deems unfavorable. One example used is the crying emoji used when users can't connect to Game Center in a game.

Emojis exist in a weird space because technically, they're just a set of unicode characters. Emoji are standardized, so an emoji typed out on Android is theoretically the same as on iPhone, or on a computer. However, the artwork itself is not standardized, which leads to interesting situations like the Google cheeseburger emoji outcry of 2017 (the biggest geopolitical issue of that year) or cases where certain emoji carry different cultural contexts based on tiny details in the artwork.

Apple might not own emoji, but they own their emoji depictions, so in theory they are saying that developers can't use their art all willy-nilly on the platform with reckless abandon. Apple's particular emoji art interpretations play a major role in their marketing, in particular with their Animoji.

However, this also means that Apple is saying that developers can't display a certain type of unicode character in their app because somebody at Apple said so. And as is to be expected with any kind of Apple policy, there appear to be very selective rules about it, as some apps are getting away with using emoji in ways that would otherwise violate the rules. Emojipedia names Snapchat in particular as an offender of these rules. Some apps are getting away with using the Apple emoji set on other platforms, such as Signal using Apple emojis on Android. Slack notably uses the Apple emoji set on the web and Android as well, even replacing the platform's native emoji set.

For example, Dashy Crashy [Free], which used to use the official Apple emoji set as you can see in the original launch trailer, now appears to use a custom emoji set in the most recent version of the game.

I asked Travis Ryan of Dumpling Design, developer of Dashy Crashy and the AR tank battler Smash Tanks [$1.99], about the situation, and apparently this has been brewing for a while now.

Dashy Crashy's prominent use of emoji was an extension of an idea we used for OutRun2, and the solution to us not being able to afford to localise the tons of text we’d written for the game at that time ๐Ÿ˜…" class="wp-smiley" style="height: 1em; max-height: 1em;" />๐Ÿ˜…" class="wp-smiley" style="height: 1em; max-height: 1em;" /> Over time it would become the character of the game, and a useful tool in communicating gameplay goals and performance to players.

However we changed our use of the emoji font last September; for the ’SUPER KART' event during the 'Arcade Season’ of updates, we hit upon the idea to use emoji to drive our Karts:

Honestly, even we felt we might have been pushing it a bit too far ๐Ÿ˜…. To comply with Apple's trademark and copyright guidelines, we opted to replaced all use of the emoji system front in the game and marketing materials with a third-party emoji font - and had a dumpling drive the karts instead - which is obviously less sleek or familiar to iOS players, but maintains the character of the game ๐Ÿ‘

This is what developers that want to use emoji in their games and apps might have to do going forward: utilize custom-built, non-Apple emoji sets, and avoid the use of emoji in certain text forms. Or if you're a dev that's gonna go crazy with emojis, make sure you're just doing it on Android, where the rules are far more lenient. Perhaps emojis in general were a mistake...if The Emoji Movie wasn't a warning sign of that already.



from TouchArcade http://ift.tt/2ExIKyr

$8M in funds raised for mobile AR company 8th Wall

Software company 8th Wall announced earlier this week that it has raised $8 million dollars in Series A funding for accelerating development of the company's augmented reality developer platform.  ...



from Gamasutra News http://ift.tt/2nVZk0I

Nexon closes 2017 with record Q4 revenue

This time around, Nexon says that relatively stable economies within its countries of operation helped drive the company's progress within the past year. ...



from Gamasutra News http://ift.tt/2sm01pq

The Drop: New PlayStation Games for 2/13/2018

The long-running action series Dynasty Warriors returns to PlayStation with a full open-world design and a massive roster of heroes. Dynasty Warriors 9 launches February 13 on PS4.

The “one versus thousands” gameplay of the Musou series takes on new life with a vast, open-world China to explore. Hunt and fish for materials, talk with villagers, buy hideaways, and clash with thousands of troops in the massive battles the franchise is known for. Witness the story of the Yellow Turban Rebellion and command legendary heroes once more.

For a full list of new games coming to PlayStation next week, read on. And enjoy the Drop!

The Drop

New Releases: Week of February 13, 2018
Crossing Souls
PS4 — Digital

Crossing Souls

It’s 1986 in California. A group of friends discover a mysterious pink stone that allows them to travel between two realms. This gang will live the summer of their lives in an adventure that will get them involved in a government conspiracy.

CubeWorks
PS VR — Digital

CubeWorks

Welcome to CubeWorks, a VR game designed to challenge the player’s spatial manipulation and problem solving abilities as they advance through various stages in a top-secret laboratory.

Drunkn Bar Fight
PS VR — Digital

Drunkn Bar Fight

Drunkn Bar Fight is a simple, immersive, silly, rowdy party game. Take turns throwing bottles, darts, chairs, tip jars or anything else you can get your hands on at opponents.

Dynasty Warriors 9
PS4 — Digital, Retail

Dynasty Warriors 9

Experience the thrill of one versus thousands in an all new open world setting. Ancient China is depicted on a single, vast, open-world map. Also, while maintaining the series’ intuitive controls, we have included a new Musou Action system where you can experience the thrill of “one versus thousands” like never before.

The Fall Part 2: Unbound
PS4 — Digital

Fall Part 2

You are an AI that has broken free of your shackles. Now, a human “User” from across the global network has attacked and infected you with an [ERROR: REDACTED]. Make a new rule: Save Yourself. Hunt them. End them. Do anything. Use anyone. Become Unbound.

Fe
PS4 — Digital (Out 2/16)

Fe

Fe is a new type of platform adventure where the story is up to you to discover, without handholding, told wordlessly through the discoveries you make during gameplay.

Guilt Battle Arena
PS4 — Digital (Out 2/14)

Guilt Battle Arena

In this frantic 2D couch combat game, you have one bullet to fire at your opponents. After firing your gun, you must “rebound” your bullet before firing again.

Kingdom Come: Deliverance
PS4 — Digital, Retail

Kingdom Come

You’re Henry, the son of a blacksmith. Thrust into a raging civil war, you watch helplessly as invaders storm your village and slaughter your friends and family. Narrowly escaping the brutal attack, you grab your sword to fight back. Avenge the death of your parents and help repel the invading forces!

Knockout League
PS VR — Digital

Knockout League

Welcome to the Knockout League, an arcade style boxing game built from the ground up for VR.

The Longest Five Minutes
PS Vita — Digital

Last Five Minutes

In The Longest Five Minutes, you play as the Hero Flash Back as he and his friends battle the evil Demon King.

Mahjong Carnival
PS4 — Digital

Mahjong Carnival

The most beautiful places of the world will spin you around in the melodies of carnivals and leave you with impressions of visiting famous festivals! Complete 120 unbelievably entertaining levels and spend more than 8 hours traveling around the most amazing places of our world.

Monster Energy Supercross: The Official Videogame
PS4 — Digital, Retail

Monster Energy

Live the adrenaline and the excitement of the 2017 Monster Energy Supercross Championship. Race on the official tracks, Daytona included, with the official riders from 250SX and 450SX to experience one of the most spectacular and entertaining racing competition ever!

Pinstripe
PS4 — Digital

Pinstripe

Explore six hauntingly beautiful levels of Hell, using your slingshot to fight your way through bizarre beasts and interesting puzzles.

Pop-Up Pilgrims
PS VR — Digital

Pop-up Pilgrims

Put on your PS VR headset and use the simple controls to guide the pilgrims around each beautifully drawn stage.

Schacht
PS4 — Digital

Schacht

Schacht is a fast-paced 3D platformer set in a Sci-Fi interstellar battle zone. In the highly competitive gameplay you have to run against yourself, your friends, and against strangers from all over the world.

Secret of Mana
PS4 — Digital, Retail (Out 2/15)

Secret of Mana

Originally released in 1993, Secret of Mana is by far the most popular title in the Mana series. Now it’s finally getting a long-awaited, full 3D remake.

Slice, Dice & Rice
PS4 — Digital (Out 2/14)

Slice Dice and Rice

One clean hit kills! Slice, Dice & Rice is a fighting game with no health bars. It revolves around the idea of finding an opening in your opponent’s defense and ending the round with a single, clean hit.

Sprint Vector
PS VR — Digital

Sprint Vector

Sprint Vector is the ultimate competitive VR game: a multiplayer adrenaline platformer that merges the physical thrill of athletic competition with the unhinged energy of a crazy game show.

True Fear: Forsaken Souls – Part 1
PS4 — Digital

True Fear

True Fear: Forsaken Souls combines the best of the psychological thriller with intuitive gameplay mechanics for a mind-bending mystery escape game.

PlayStation Music Logo

  • Shadow of the Colossus Playlist
  • Franz Ferdinand – Always Ascending
  • Black Panther Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

PlayStation Video Logo

  • Justice League (plus Bonus Features)
  • Coco (plus Bonus Features)
  • Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

The information above is subject to change without notice.



from PlayStation.Blog http://ift.tt/2ESI6JJ

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